On PC Burnout

April 8, 2015

Sometimes, no matter how much you love a character you play, it gets stale. You’re still happy with the game an your community, but the character seems to have fallen into a rut. Maybe you’ve reached all your goals or you just aren’t moving forward in that personal plot. There are innumerous reasons for a character to stall out. Maybe you just want to do something different. 

But whatever the reason, you’ve lost the edge.

How you respond really depends on the reason for PC burnout. And while each person will respond differently, I have a few ideas that can help.

If you’ve hit all your goals, the obvious solution is to find new ones. A good way to do this would be to find a staff member that can handle plot and talk with them about some change that would seriously shift the PCs worldview. A formerly believed dead friend is actually alive and now an antagonist – and maybe they are even right in your PCs eyes. Someone teaches them a new faith, or hatters their current one. They have to repeatedly compromise their morals to save something or someone. Break something that has crystallized, or at least melt it.

This is risky – you may just find the character gives up, but at least it’s an amazing exit. The tragedy, the pain, te retirement xp bonus (I mean what?).

Maybe you’ve just been the same PC too long. No prob, bob – if your game allows, try an alt! Shelve your PC main and rock on with a new concept that plays differently! Or play both but back burner your main for a while. I plan on doing this with my main for Dystopia Rising who’s more or less retiring to the goal I set for him of back seating some and becoming part of his gangs economic and supply powerhouse while my alt is the one running around getting into plot and trying to kill everything.

And maybe your plot is stalled out. Talk to staff, see if there’s a way to move that forward a little or talk to friends to see if they help jump start your personal pursuits. Maybe give up and find new goals – just like real people, a character can know when it’s time to bail.

And there is always the blaze of glory – a character needs to be retired and there’s no way around it that he player wants to pursue. Staff is usually glad to let a player who wants to move on fire a PC at plot as ammunition. It gives the PCs and players something to remember and helps a floundering player get new bearings.

But remember, you only perm once!


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